Zeolites: what are they?

Zeolites: what are they?

What are zeolites?

Did you know that the word zeolite comes from the Greek words zέo (“to boil”) and lithos (“stone”) from way back in the 1700’s? Named after the ‘vapour’ seen coming from the stones when it was heated, the zeolite resembled steam from boiled water. This was due to the water trapped inside the zeolites.

Zeolites are referred to as aluminosilicate minerals, meaning they are made from the elements aluminium and silicon. A defining feature of zeolites is the variety of beautiful structures they make up - lots of triangular cage-like pyramids linked up together.

Discover our full range of zeolite clinoptilolite products or check out even more educational articles and videos.

Structure and forms: the different types of zeolites

The linked-up structure of zeolites create cavities where water and other polar molecules are inserted and exchanged. This porous structure makes zeolites highly absorbent and allows them to exchange ions in order to bind to toxins.

Having a natural negative charge allows zeolites to work like a magnetic sponge, attracting and absorbing positively charged toxins that sit inside the ‘cage’, to compensate for the negative charge of the structures.

There are over 150 zeolites (and not all are created equal):

  • 40 naturally occurring in volcanic or sedimentary rocks
  • 110+ synthetically made
  • Clinoptilolite, mordenite and chabazite are the most commonly mined
  • Clinoptilolite is the most widely recognised

NOTE: Bentonite and kaolin which will be familiar for their use in cosmetics, are clays and not zeolites!

Naturally occurring zeolites have been used for healthy detoxification for generations because they are highly selective in their absorption and are able to ‘sieve’ a variety of toxins.

How do zeolites work in the body?

The unique physical and chemical properties of zeolites make them very useful in a variety of applications. The benefits of Clinoptilolite have been known in the medical community for decades and it is the most used and studied zeolite in medicine.

The basic structure of Clinoptilolite is biologically neutral and safe for oral use due to its chemical stability. You can think of it as a ‘cage’ and a ‘sieve’ - as the Clinoptilolite comes across toxins, it will adsorb it into its cage like structure and as it sieves substances through, toxins with the right polarity will be attracted to it. The positive charge of the toxins make them very attracted to the negatively charged clinoptilolite. Studies have shown it can bind to substances such as ammonia, heavy metals, mycotoxins and histamine without affecting mineral levels in the body.

Clinoptilolite in vivo can have a protective effect on the brain, activate the immune system, support the liver and improve the intestinal status.

How can I choose which Clinoptilolite to use?

With the multitude of Clinoptilolite supplements available, it can be tricky to figure out which one is best for your needs. The most important thing to look for are ones which not only bind to the toxins but are also removed from the body effectively - so ask your provider for their research. As well as this, choose a supplement that doesn’t enter the bloodstream.

Although the Clinoptilolite will alleviate the burden from the liver by binding to the toxins, the body is still reliant on the liver to process it out of the body if it goes back into the bloodstream. If the supplement does not enter the bloodstream and is processed out of the body via the digestive tract, such as with Toxaprevent, the burden on the liver is removed and that really helps the body get back to its own natural detoxification processes more quickly.

Ideally, you should choose a supplement which has undergone some kind of assessment to prove its safety and efficacy. Most supplements are governed by the Food Standards Agency in the UK which means specific claims cannot be made for the product and are more general, based on the existing evidence available generally on the active ingredient.

There are Clinoptilolite supplements available however, which are approved medical devices which means they are able to make more specific claims. This is because the products are individually assessed for their safety and test reports to show that they can treat as per their packaging claims. Approved devices also show that the product does not remain in the body.


Zeolites have been around for centuries, with over 150 types - most of which are synthetically made. Of the 40 zeolites naturally found in volcanic rock, Clinoptilolite is the most rigorously researched and has been used in the medical community for decades.

Clinoptilolite uses its unique structure and polarity to bind to toxins in the body. It is safe for oral use due to its stability. Choosing a Clinoptilolite supplement which leaves the body will provide better benefits and no known side effects.

Clinoptilolite supplements come in many forms but capsules or powders are most common. When choosing a powder, ensure that it is packaged appropriately in single use pouches so that it does not bind to toxins every time it is opened. Choose a form which targets specific areas such as upper or lower digestive tract, or skin etc.

A Clinoptilolite supplement approved as a medical device proves that it leaves the body, is safe for use and that it has been proven to remove the toxins it says and can help according to the claims made on the packaging.

Call us on 02476363873 or email us at info@nhinnovations.com to discuss your questions with a member of our clinical team.

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